As the most mobile portion of your spine, your neck is vulnerable to a variety of painful conditions that may eventually require surgery. Board-certified neurosurgeon Ali Raja, MD, FAANS, FACS, at Neurosurgery Specialists of Arkansas, is known throughout the Little Rock, Arkansas, community for his extensive surgical skill. He’s also highly regarded for his commitment to compassionate, personalized care that welcomes patients of all ages to his practice. For top-level surgical treatment of herniated discs, painful nerve impingement, and other disabling neck conditions, schedule an evaluation today by calling the office or booking online.
A traumatic injury to your cervical spine (neck) may require immediate surgery. In most cases, however, surgery is often the last resort for issues that tend to progress slowly, such as:
Dr. Raja considers neck surgery when these and other painful spinal conditions don’t respond adequately to conservative therapies, or cause worsening spinal cord dysfunction, radiculopathy (nerve dysfunction), neck pain, restricted range of motion, or spinal instability.
Dr. Raja bases his surgical recommendations on the results of a thorough evaluation that generally includes diagnostic imaging studies to identify the precise location and level of cervical spine damage or disease.
Your treatment course may include:
ACDF is a surgical procedure that’s used to decompress spinal nerves and stabilize the cervical spine. Performed through an incision at the front (anterior) or side of the neck, ACDF allows Dr. Raja to access damaged discs without disturbing the spinal cord, muscles, and unaffected nerves.
During ACDF, once he has removed the damaged disc, Dr. Raja applies a bone graft to join or fuse vertebrae together. The surgery can relieve pain, numbness, and/or weakness in the neck and upper back as well as provide stability to the cervical spine.
During this procedure, also performed from an incision at the front or side of the neck, Dr. Raja removes the discs above and below the damaged vertebrae and the middle portion of the vertebral bone. He then uses a bone graft or metal hardware to stabilize the spine.
This surgery may be recommended to relieve nerve compression related to spinal stenosis caused by bone spur formation that’s not amenable to discectomy.
Dr. Raja may consider other procedures, including laminectomy (removal of the vertebra) and microdiscectomy (removing the damaged portion of the disc).
Dr. Raja discusses the procedure and expected outcomes in detail before scheduling your surgery. Healing times vary and depend largely on the type of procedure you’re undergoing and your overall physical health.
Typically, however, these procedures take place in a hospital setting under general anesthesia and may take several hours. Most require a brief hospital stay and modified activity until the surgical sites and/or bone grafts have healed completely, which may take several weeks.
If you’re considering neck surgery, schedule an evaluation with Dr. Raja at Neurosurgery Specialists of Arkansas today by calling the office or booking a visit online.